Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fry Road never know what you might find!

I will be forever grateful to Grace (of Gardening with Grace) for introducing me to this gem. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the slight detour off I-5 in Albany, OR. My first visit to Fry Road Nursery was in June of 2010; I was treated to a personal tour by Grace, who lives nearby. While I would have enjoyed her company this time I also knew I had to stick to a tight schedule (3 nurseries, 1 private garden…and home in time to feed and walk the dog by 6pm) and didn’t want to ask her to endure my haste. This nursery is an interesting hybrid. You feel a lot like you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be. Things aren’t necessarily set up for the retail customer, you feel a little like you are going to be told you can't buy something you've got your eye on. Some greenhouses are so full they are virtually impassable. Others are swampy with Duckweed. But the plants! Like this very healthy looking Alpinia zerumbet, or Shell Ginger… ...or this strange little cactus (which I believe they had labeled as pencil cactus)… ...along with some serious bargains, like what I think is Agave stricta for only $2.98, make this nursery a plant lover’s paradise. At first I was confused thinking the bloom of the Blue Tropical Hibiscus (Alyogyne) was on the same plant as the foliage of the Pineapple Broom (Cytisus battandieri)…wouldn’t that be an amazing combination! Even though the hose wasn’t anywhere to be found I bet this ½ wheel is used as a hose caddy. Clever. Senecio My first “must have” an unknown Dyckia (yes somehow I passed up the Agave stricta above…why!?!) Such fabulous color… And such big plants with a little root ball. And only $1.28…be still my beating heart. The color of these Colocasia, along with the dark Dahlia was also a draw… But I managed to pass them by. Here was my second Horseradish sighting of the day (in front of the Bananas). Opuntia glowing in the sun. Yucca brevifolia, the Joshua Tree. Yes one of these came home with me. Euphorbia 'Tasmanian Tiger' Bird of Paradise Bird of Paradise roots… Blue oh so blue… Pink oh so pink Heliconia stricta Passion Flower Bells of Ireland…I love these as cut flowers! Happy Colocasia, stretching their faces out from under the table. Baby agaves! Joining my pair of Dyckia and the must-have Joshua Tree is a Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands), I was so excited to have found it! Unfortunately when I went to check out I was told it was not for sale and I couldn’t buy it. Darn. In a previous post on Callistemon (written just a couple of days before this trip), I was questioning why I had only purchased one Callistemon ‘Woodlanders Hardy Red’ on my first visit to Fry Road. After all they were only $1.98! It was thinking about that error in judgment that got me planning a stop here, I wondered...would they still have them?

Yes, actually they did! They’d been moved, but were still in the same small tray, roots holding on for dear life. I pulled and twisted and pulled some more. Finally I wrestled two of them free. Look at their tiny little root ball! This is actually why I only bought one the first time; I didn’t think they would survive the shock of transplanting them. They were so root bound! Well unfortunately the heat of the day, combined with my inability to plant them right away has already claimed one victim. The other is hanging on. Perhaps I'm not destined to have another Callistemon in my garden, only time will tell. Meanwhile I’m wondering about what treasures I might find (or stupidly pass by) on my next trip to Fry Road…


  1. But..."Mother of thousands"? Surely there will be some for sale the next time you visit. Are those baby plants all along the edge? It's a phenom I have noticed on other Kalanchloes.

  2. I would be willing to bet that if you just announced on your blog that you want to have a mother of thousands plant, someone would offer to send you fifty.

  3. Okay, I give! What an amazing nursery! Fry Road and Bauman's are definitely on my list as we return from a Northern California trip in September...or sooner!

  4. That looks like my kind of place!
    The prices are phenomenal. I think my favorite part were all those baby agaves.
    David/ :-)

  5. I have tons of mother of thousands. They keep popping up in other pots. You had quite a wonderful day at these great nurseries! And a Joshua tree! You are so lucky!

  6. ricki, that's why they wouldn't sell it, they were going to propagate from it, so there should be. And yes...those are all babies!

    Mr S, I know...I should, I'm just not very good at announcing I want plants, it seems a little rude! Do YOU have one to send me???? We could trade, I must have something you could use?

    MulchMaid, yes! You will enjoy both of them!

    David, can't you just imagine a whole flat of baby agaves! Heaven!

    Candy, really? Perhaps you might want to part with one of them (hint hint...)

  7. I was thinking the same thing as Ricki. Surely the Mother of Thousands will be on sale next time. I'll keep my eyes open. I bet you did what I did, walked into the propagation house from the back door which isn't clearly marked "Employees Only." You know that little tubular cactus you showed? I bought it there and it overwintered outside! Sorry the one Callistemon didn't make it. It's kind of a buyer beware kind of place. Thanks for the shout-out. Oh, by the way, on my blog, the reference to "dangerous plants" was directed at you. But you knew that, didn't you? :)


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